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Google Considering Fine Tune App Permissions for Android

Have you ever thought why your banking app needs your GPS location, or why your certain games need the ability to make phone calls? Well, Google has stated that it is planning to give you full control over granular permissions for apps over the course of time. 

Android has always been all or nothing when it comes to giving apps access permission to your phone, despite showing you every single element of your phone that an app is using. Google software engineer Dianne Hackborn confessed that this precise issue has been an ongoing discussion at Google, and it is now trying to give fine tuning control to users.

While this idea is certainly on the to-do list, it could still be a while until the feature is actually present on Android devices. The main concern for apps are how they will function in terms of stability if their critical permissions are retracted. Imagine how the popular messaging app "Whatsapp" would react if you refuse full network communications and stop its account authenticator; apps are not designed as yet to deal with such errors, possibly resulting in a full system malfunction. 

Do you think that Google should allow app permissions to be adjusted at the risk of system instability, or should users use apps with a 'Do or do not' mentality? Tell us what you think below in the comments.

  • linhampshirejr
    Google should have started with allowing app permissions to be adjusted. In fact, there are permissions that shouldn't even be allowed. I'm pretty sure that are plenty of apps in the Google's market that do not need access to my contacts, text messages, etc. to function. Leaves too many doors open for individuals to keep track of what I'm doing.
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  • Jim_L9
    There definitely needs to be more granular control of permissions. Whether this is on the app side or the O/S side makes for a good debate.
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  • ittimjones
    it would be easier if google simply added this functionality. I do this already using apps on my rooted Nexus 4, but i don't always get the desired result, as i have like 4 applications that all can fine tune permissions, and none of them are the easiest to understand...
    Reply
  • house70
    The apps developers need to state clearly why certain permissions are needed. People tend to freak out about an app needing to read the phone's state, for instance, but they forget that such a thing is required if you want to be able to receive a phone call while using that app, and the app needs to be able to suspend it's activity and give priority to that phone apk. Same goes for a lot of other apps, for messaging, emails and other notifications, etc. If such things were better explained by the app developer, a lot of confusion could be avoided.
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  • ivyanev
    Give power to the user - if such thing crashes the phone well you can certainly consider using the app at all. Of course some ugly things can happen - the app developers can make some check if all the permissions are there and if not the app to refuse to work. But thats life - you give and you take.
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  • dimar
    What I'd like to see is a firewall where I get a popup saying that an app or a service is trying to access the web (separate for wi-fi and 3g) and if I want to block it temporary or permanently.
    Reply